Summary: A sermon for Easter Sunday.
“Looking for Life in All the Wrong Places?”
The women come early in the morning with the spices they have gotten ready for anointing Jesus’ dead body.
Why do they do this, do you suppose?
I suppose they are doing it for the same reasons we have viewings and funerals.
They are doing it for the same reason we take flowers to the grave of a loved one.
They are showing their respect and love for the dead.
They had been with Jesus and experienced His radical acceptance of them, His love for them and His teachings that had somehow changed their perspective on things.
And they loved Him for it, even though they didn’t quite understand what He was about.
And so, they didn’t want to forget.
They didn’t want to forget the One Who had brought such life to their lives, such hope, such meaning…albeit however short that time period was.
They didn’t want to forget the One Who had been so kind to them.
They wanted to show proper respect to the One Whom they had loved.
They were in mourning, and this is what we do when we are mourning.
We go to where the lifeless body lays, or where the ashes are kept…
…or to our memories of them.
And we go seeking.
We go hoping and wishing that when we speak to them, they will hear.
We go hoping and wishing that they will, perhaps, give us some kind of sign showing us that their lives have not really ended, that there is more, that they are really alive.
But all we find is a mossy gravestone and some earth.
When the women get to where Jesus was buried, the stone covering the entrance to the tomb has been rolled away, and they can’t find Jesus’ body.
Suddenly, two men in clothes that gleamed like lightening stand beside them and ask them a question that can be haunting: “Why do you look for the living among the dead?”
“Why do you look for life in a tomb?”
“Why do you seek comfort and hope in a graveyard?”
“Why do you look for the living among the dead?”
This is a question that was addressed to the women who went looking for Jesus’ dead body some 2,000 years ago and it can well be a question we ask ourselves some 2,000 years later.
For isn’t it true that, in one way or another, we all go looking for the living, for life among the dead?
When I was young I wanted to be a rock-star.
I thought to myself, “Wow! Those guys have got it made.”
They have the fans, the women, the money, the power.
They rock and roll all night and they party every day.”
But what is it all for?
What is it all about?
What’s the purpose?
What do they accomplish?
What good do they do?
They become old or has-beens in just a few short years.
Yes, all that comes to an end…
…and hopefully they will have survived it.
But then, many of them spend the rest of their lives trying to relive that brief spot of time for the rest of their lives, playing the same hit song over and over and over again, night after night to smaller and smaller crowds until their lives come to an end.
It’s really not all that glamorous after-all is it?
It’s not such a wonderful way to live.
Actually, it is sad and destructive.
And many of these people end up being very depressed and addicted to a number of substances as their bodies and their fame fade away.
They’ve got some memories, and that’s all.
But even memories fade.
I sure wouldn’t want to be a rock star.
I thank the Lord I didn’t have the talent for that.
For that is NOT living at all!!!
It is death.
I remember, back in the 1980’s passing by a car that had the sticker on it: “The one who dies with the most toys wins.”
That had been the first time I’d heard or seen that.
And it was a sad thought to me.
That’s what it is all about?
What is so great about that?
It’s all so fleeting.
It’s all so shallow and meaningless.
But, that is looking for the living among the dead, is it not?
And so many of us do just that.
We might think, “If I can only get that promotion at work, everything will finally be okay.
I can feel good about myself and buy the things I’ve always wanted.
I’ll have no more problems, I will have life.”
But even if that were to happen, we would still not be satisfied.
We would still not have found life.